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Ukraine says it is facing “critical” shortage of artillery shells – Bloomberg

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Ukraine has told its allies that it is facing a “critical” shortage of artillery shells as Russia uses three times as many munitions on the front line every day.

Source: Bloomberg, with reference to a letter from Ukraine’s Defence Minister Rustem Umierov to his European Union counterparts

Details: Bloomberg noted that Umierov had described in the letter the huge numerical advantage of the Russians faced by Ukrainian troops when repelling new Russian attacks.

He stated that Ukraine is unable to fire more than 2,000 shells a day along the 1,500-km front line.

This is less than a third of the ammunition used by Russia on a daily basis.

Umierov added that Ukraine’s arms shortage is growing every day and called on its EU allies to do more to fulfil their pledge to provide one million artillery shells. He said Ukraine needed to at least match the firepower deployed by the Russians.

“The side with the most ammunition to fight usually wins,” Umerov wrote, according to the document.

The EU acknowledged on Wednesday that it would only be able to deliver half of the promised shells by 1 March, pledging to deliver almost 600,000 more by the end of the year.

Ukraine needs 200,000 155mm shells a month, reads the letter.

Estonia believes Moscow could receive almost twice as many, as about a million shells come from North Korea.

At a meeting of defence ministers on Wednesday, the EU said it would be able to produce 1 million missiles a year and expects to double that capacity to two million in 2025.

Bloomberg added that the US is also ramping up its production of shells to help Ukraine meet its needs.

Previously: It was reported that Ukraine lacks artillery shells and anti-aircraft missiles to defend its settlements from Russian attacks, and that vital aid from Europe and the US is stuck in the approval process, leaving Ukrainian troops at times barely able to hold back Russian forces.

The European Union said that it would only be able to supply Ukraine with just over 500,000 artillery shells by March, instead of the promised one million.

Background:

  • Earlier, Estonian Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur said that EU defence ministers had agreed at a meeting in Brussels that they would fulfil their promise to supply Ukraine with one million artillery rounds, albeit later than they had planned last year.

  • In early January, the European Commission expressed confidence that the EU would be able to produce one million artillery shells for Ukraine by the spring of this year, despite the fact that the process had slowed down.

  • Reuters said that in early December, EU member states had handed over only 480,000 of the promised one million shells to Ukraine.

  • In early December, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius reiterated his earlier statement that the EU would not be able to deliver one million artillery shells to Ukraine by spring 2024 but promised that the situation would improve.

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